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Wayne Dowdy

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 4th district
In office
July 7, 1981 – January 3, 1989
Preceded by Jon Hinson
Succeeded by Mike Parker

Born July 27, 1943 (1943-07-27) (age 66)
Fitzgerald, Georgia
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Susan Dowdy
Religion Methodist

Charles Wayne Dowdy (born July 27, 1943) is a former United States Congressman from Mississippi, United States Senate candidate and currently chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party.


Early life

Dowdy was born in Fitzgerald, Ben Hill County, Georgia.

Dowdy practiced law and owned two local radio stations before being elected Mayor of McComb from 1978-1981.

Politicial career

On July 7, 1981, Dowdy was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat in a special election for the 4th District, a mildly significant event because the Democrats recaptured a Southern district from the Republicans. Dowdy carefully managed to avoid drawing strong Republican challengers in the general election or African American opponents in the Democratic primary. He won re-election narrowly in 1982 and 1984, with 53 percent and 55 percent of the vote, before being re-elected with 72 percent of the vote in the 1986 elections. He was notable for being a rather progressive Democrat in a district with a 37 percent African American population; he voted for renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 1982.

In 1988, when John Stennis retired from the Senate, Dowdy won the Democratic nomination. His opponent was Republican Congressman Trent Lott. Dowdy was unable to implement his rural strategy. George H. W. Bush carried Mississippi 59 percent-39 percent, which allowed Lott to defeat Dowdy by a 54 percent-45 percent margin.

Dowdy attempted to stage a comeback against Governor Ray Mabus in the 1991 Democratic primaries, but lost with 41 percent of the vote.

Dowdy's trademark slogan as the chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party has been "It's a great time to be a Democrat."

Personal life

Dowdy and his wife, Susan, have three children. His wife is from Grenada, Mississippi.

He currently practices law in Magnolia, Mississippi. His family owns several radio stations in Mississippi and Louisiana. He is a former staff announcer for television station WJTV-TV in Jackson, Mississippi.

He is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is United Methodist in faith.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jon Hinson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Mississippi's 4th congressional district

July 7, 1981 – January 3, 1989
Succeeded by
Mike Parker


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